By Valerie Morris
The votes have been tallied and it is official. Dr. Lynn Meister, pediatric hematologist/oncologist specializing in hospice and palliative care with the Memorial Healthcare System is one of five esteemed physicians being honored with 2014’s ‘Spirit of Healing’ award availing from a letter presented to the Memorial Foundation nominating committee by a local Broward County resident.
The remaining four physicians being honored for the ‘Spirit of Healing’ award are: Nina Beauchesne, FACHE; Howard Berlin, MD; Stephanie Jofe, MD; Sri Sundararaman MD MS.
Since 1999, the Memorial Foundation and Joe DiMaggio Hospital Foundation opened nominations for this award. A letter from Mitchell Eisenberg, MD, chairman to Memorial Foundation and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, listing all past recipient honorees, deadline dated, Feb. 10, 2014 states this esteemed award is given to those individuals or organizations in the community who have shown excellence in their profession, outstanding community service and commitment to the mission of the Memorial Healthcare System.
This year, the honorees will be acknowledged at the ‘Circle of Friends’ Luncheon, presented by PNC Bank held May 2 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa on Ocean Drive in Hollywood, Fla.
Additionally, at this function, the South Florida President’s Council of Motorcycle Clubs and Organizations will be honored with the ‘Wasie Philanthropic Leadership Award’.
When the call to open this year’s nominations were called by the Foundation’s chairman; local residents; the Morris Family; obliged to make known their gratitude by nominating Lynn Meister MD. A physician owning stellar attributes having sacrificed nearly two decades of unrelenting services, above and beyond her call of duty in being charged with the care of their daughter; Andrea Morris; born with Sickle Cell Disease.
The fruition of these well-deserved accolades manifested a personalized invitation to the Morris’ family’s by the Foundation as honored guests to this festive occasion. Owing to how well it was articulated what the good doctor has meant to them by way of their heart-felt letter of nomination.
Mrs. Morris states, “the letters were for thanks and recognition, oftentimes left unsaid by so many. Because on average most families are unable to make their thankfulness known having been thrown into circumstances so unforgiving and seemingly insurmountable.”
Morris further states, “I would be the first to admit, ‘the climate of need’; as experienced by so many in Broward County can appear unbearable. Especially in experiencing first-hand how so many Broward County families, adversely affected by varied 21st century diseases, which can yield paralyzing effects on our precious children and the critically needed support by their immediate loved-ones.
Valerie knows her family is not alone in its trials. Having a stillborn son and a daughter born with dreadful Sickle Cell Disease. Encompassing over 25 years of holy matrimony; her husband, Ronnie enduring multiple mental challenges, and hypertension and diabetes. At some point during a significant matrimonial separation, Valerie unknowingly became infected with HIV and she did not know until she elevated to stage 3 Full Blown AIDS. She admits her mistake in dropping the ball in maintaining her practice of regular testing for HIV during her marital separation from Ronnie.
After over 17 years of not only treating their daughter for Sickle Cell Disease Dr. Meister has proven her undying altruistic commitment to her Hippocratic oath in comforting and imparting wisdom to the entire Morris family.
After gaining unexpected knowledge of this esteemed up-coming recognition by simply doing what God has charged her to do, Dr. Meister proclaimed to the Morris’ how all the more she is inspired to fulfill her charge.
Valarie also confessed her beloved husband and children’s need to recognize with sheer and utter admiration their un-equivocal fortitude to press on. Despite mommy’s indiscretions the family now reunited has profited hugely, owing so much to Dr. Lynn Meister.
If no other message is manifested in the summary of the state-of-youth in Broward County, as viewed from the frame of reference of this family, it is, “we can no longer be embarrassed by being affected by varied 21st century disease-states. But, forge on in spite of its cumulative demise intended to afflict our precious youth of today. We, no matter how minute our contribution(s), are far greater than the barriers we face. Give of your time, talents and/or money towards those efforts that hold meaning in your heart.”
Mrs. Morris believes supporting the family unit in Broward County is super important. And higher education for our youth should be sought by any means necessary.